CWG: Sergeant Joseph Wilkinson

Sergeant Joseph Wilkinson

Joseph Wilkinson was born in the village of Greystoke, Cumbria in the summer of 1888. His parents were John and Margaret Wilkinson, and he had two siblings, also called John and Margaret. Joseph’s father worked as a railway signalman, and the industry employed a large number of people in the village.

Joseph’s life was to take a different turn, however, and it was likely the railway that took him there. He next appears on the 1911 census, boarding in a house in the village of Wedmore in Somerset. At 23 years old, he is listed as a Solicitor’s Cashier.

As with so many other fallen men and women, Joseph’s trail goes cold. There is not enough evidence to detail his military career – he joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Driver and was promoted to Sergeant.

The UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects show that he was married to a woman called Ethel, although there are no records of their wedding. The document also confirms that he died at the Union Hospital in Winchester, Hampshire on 17th October 1918, but there is no cause of death given. He was 31 years old.

“He did his duty” says his impressive gravestone, but it is tragic that that duty is lost to time.

Sergeant Joseph Wilkinson lies at rest in the churchyard of St Mary’s in Wedmore, the Somerset village that came to be his home.

2 thoughts on “CWG: Sergeant Joseph Wilkinson”

  1. A detailed biography of Wilkinson appears in Tim Moreman, The Isle of Wedmore Remembers the First World War, 1914-19 (Wedmore, 2018) All proceeds go to the maintenance of four non-CW~GC war graves in St Mary’s Churchyard.


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